Cyprus Mail

Revenues from port privatisation slightly below forecast

The government received €67 million in revenue in 2017 following the privatisation of operations at Limassol port – just shy of what it had been promised – the internal audit commissioner said on Thursday.

The commissioner, Anna Zavou-Christophorou, was presenting the results of the financial report for 2017 to the House watchdog committee.

The private operator, Eurogate Container Terminal Limassol Ltd, assumed responsibility for the container business as part of the commercialisation of the port at the end of January last year.

“They had estimated we would receive €69m and we received €67m, which is slightly less but we are talking about a month less,” Christophorou, said.

She added that her service had requested the introduction of a mechanism to monitor port revenues.

Christophorou also informed MPs that the Internal Audit Service is participating as an observer in procedures for the new public transport agreement.

The state has injected half a billion euros for buses in 10 years, adding that weaknesses were identified in implementing the agreement.

Her agency has also investigated the issue of state sponsorship and found it was difficult to check how the sponsored funds are spent by public corporations.

Concerning EU funds, Christophorou told MPs that Cyprus received €100m more during the 2007-2013 programming period than it contributed.

Cyprus, she said, contributed €1 billion during that period and received €1.1bn.

She added that it remained to be seen whether Cyprus would be a net recipient of EU funds during the current financial period. “This will be shown when the 2014-2020 period is closed,” she said.

Christophorou also informed MPs that her service is trying to promote a control system so that EU money is spent on the right projects and not just for absorption.

As regards the public debt – which is to the tune of €20bn – Christophorou said that €518m in interest was paid last year.

Christophorou said that her service has been checking all procedures following the request of the chief financial officer of the Public Debt Department. She said that these ought to be checked on time and that her service would be able to announce the results soon.



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